The last two days have certainly been memorable. Yesterday we traveled to see my grandma (the only living grandparent I have left). I love her to pieces. She originated here from Poland, having traveled through Ellis island many years ago. It's a cool legacy. Anyway, she hasn't been doing too well. She has had high blood pressure, and recently fell tearing some cartilage in her knee. She really wanted to see us, but didn't want to us to make the trip just for her since she wouldn't be able to do lunch (If you know anything about the Polish heritage...they just want to feed you all the time. :-) No joke. One time we were there before kids. It was Dave, my sister, and myself. She served a huge lasagna, a beef entree, and a HEAPING bowl of chicken fingers. For 4 people. She kept telling us, "Eat! Eat!". I love her.) Anyway, it was a good visit. She was really happy to see us and the kids, but I could tell it was really hard for her not to serve us food. The kids were really well behaved and it was a WONDERFUL visit. I realize that my grandma will not be around forever, and so these moments are really precious to me.
For lunch, we ventured into the city for Giordano's pizza. Dave loves Chicago style pizza, so when in Rome...
After that, we stopped by IKEA for my new bookcase. I heart it. I have way too many books. Perhaps its an addiction. I love reading.
So, backing up a bit. I've been in a spiritual wilderness for about a month now (hence no really deep posts lately). It's been difficult and I've just felt disconnected from God. As frustrating as that is, I KNOW that at the other end of this, God is so faithful. I know that I will see things more clearly, have more joy, and a deeper faith and compassion. I'm excited for that part...the interim is what's difficult. Anyway, I decided to spend my morning REALLY praying hard about the issue. It was really incredible. I continued reading through Acts and finished it. It's an incredible book and I found myself completely captivated while I was reading it. The passion that these men had for Jesus is so compelling. Paul's faith was so strong. He went to Jerusalem even though his deepest friends had warned him not to, for fear he would die from persecution. He went anyway, because he wanted Jerusalem to know about Jesus. Interestingly enough, although he was persecuted there and imprisoned...he didn't die there. He went on to Rome through a series of events...telling his testimony everywhere he went. How amazing. Literally, these men could have been killed for believing in Jesus. To believe in Jesus, and live the way they did, is so compelling. It's awe inspiring to me.
I had Dave pray over me this afternoon, and I feel that I am experiencing some freedom...hallelujah. I hope that I am coming out of this pit.
Here's my cool story:
Tonight I randomly decided to take the kids to the mall. Nothing unusual there, a warm place to let them play. As I was walking, Noah was dragging a piece of paper on the ground. A woman, who was mall walking, commented something about him being a boy. I laughed and agreed. I then asked, "Does it get easier?" (We've had a lot of behavioral issues lately) I'm not kidding. Our conversation lasted an hour. She ended up coming into the play area with me and sitting with me as we talked about life, parenting, and everything in between. It was one of those moments, where I felt the Holy spirit just hovering. I knew that God had orchestrated this moment. She has two sons who are both in their 30's and she talked about her struggles as a parent. Her brokenness over her son who is in prison. At one point, Callie, who had decided to like her (She has a knack for finding the "grandma" types and capitalizing on it) came over and brought her some books to read. Then, as this woman was reading her the book, Callie laid her head on her arm and wanted to cuddle. Watching my daughter, in her innocence, love on this woman was incredible. The woman was so touched. After Callie went back to play, she said, "I'm so glad that I stopped. You have no idea how badly I just needed a hug tonight." She ended up walking back to the other side of the mall with us. It was one of those moments where it felt almost surreal. You don't just have random hour long conversations in the mall with strangers. God was definitely at work. For me, talking to her, made me have more perspective as a parent. These times, although they feel hard, are going to go by SO fast. I will be looking back at them and wondering where the time has gone. Noah is going to be FOUR in May already. Time is moving. I felt like my love and joy for them grew even deeper tonight, if possible. Watching them play and laugh, as I am talking to this woman who had already raised hers, made me value my time with them so much more.
God IS in the details.